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Hernando seeks hotel-motel-restaurant sales tax

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HERNANDO, Miss. (AP) — The Mississippi House has sent a bill to Gov. Phil Bryant that calls for an election to let Hernando voters to decide whether to raise the sales tax on hotels, motels and restaurants by 2 percent to help finance city parks.

Hernando officials had asked for the legislation, which says that at least 60 percent of voters participating in an as-yet-determined election must approve before the higher tax goes into effect.

The bill provides that proceeds from the 2 percent tax will promote tourism and parks and recreation in Hernando.

Hernando Mayor Chip Johnson said money generated by the tax, should voters decide to implement it, would go to many uses within the Parks Department.

"Quite frankly the board has not discussed what they would spend it on," Johnson said. "We just know we have a lot of needs for our parks.

"The thing that I'm most pleased about personally is the Legislature has given us the ability for the citizens to do something they want to do."

Meanwhile, legislation to extend Southaven's "A Penny for Your Parks" one-cent restaurant sales tax is also on its way Bryant.

The bill specifies that revenue collected from the tax would be used "to promote tourism, parks and recreation."

Southaven voters approved the one-cent sales tax in 2010, but it was to expire on July 1. The bill will extend the tax until July 1, 2017.

Southaven began collecting the tax, which added a 3 percent tax on restaurant food and drink, in 2012.

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